Union leaders and workers occupying steelmaker Planta Casima in Puerto Ordaz at the Bolivar state were kicked out by DGCIM, the National Guard and a court order after two workers there were arrested earlier this month.
Both arms of the military have been named in several reports by the United Nations, the Organization of American States, Human Rights Watch and other organizations as involved in human rights violations, including torture in the case of DGCIM.
Alejandro Alvarez, secretary-general of the Sidernac union said workers were kicked out on February 12th. He told: “This is a barrage by the company because of the statements that we gave February 6th before the Labor ministry, when we denounced that DGCIM had arrested two of our companions.”
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Workers at Casima are going hungry, workers said before the Labor ministry, and that’s why some were not showing up for work at Casima. “They said our protest is causing million-dollar losses, but the plant has been shut down for 29 months, including a lack of nitrogen and oxygen in December,” Alvarez said.
Casima was working at 57% capacity in 2012 when it was private. After being expropriated by Chavez around that time, now “less than 1%” of capacity is engaged.
Other plants affiliated with the CSN state-owned concern are also paralyzed, Alvarez denounced, such as Antima and Guarenas.